Levin's Solway Park could soon be the centre of attention, and for all good reasons.
A slow revamp of the park will reach its zenith in mid-January with the opening of the pumptrack.
This 160m-long track, made of asphalt, is part of a wider ongoing commitment by the Levin South Neighbourhood Safety Panel (NSP) and the Levin South Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) as well as Horowhenua District Council (HDC) to improve facilities and infrastructure at Solway Park and nearby Morgan Crescent Park.
"Our priority is to encourage youth development by fostering a sense of pride, engagement, a feeling of safety, and building people's trust and confidence in their community and the police," said Sergeant Ian Pigott, Prevention Supervisor and
chairperson of the NSP in Levin.
Over the last six years, these three groups have led development of a rugby field, basketball court, barbecue, toilets, water fountain and fences to transform Solway Park from an unwelcoming space with minimal facilities into a vibrant heart for the local community.
"The park now hosts numerous events, including the Horowhenua Food Festival and Dads' Day Out, as well as youth development opportunities, such as the Taitoko school year 7 and 8 Fitness Mentoring Programme, " Sgt Pigott said.
Community engagement was key to the success of this development and Sgt Pigott said they were stoked that the local community has taken responsibility for the area and is keeping it tidy and safe.
Over the years toilets have been put in, as well as an electric barbecue, drinking fountains, a climbing wall and a basketball court.
The playground equipment has been removed temporarily and will be back in a different corner of Solway Park. It will have a soft fill base and will be available to play on by Christmas.
This week the team, with help from local residents, will be tidying the park, and grass will be laid down on areas surrounding the track.
"As soon as the asphalt is laid down, we can open it," said Sgt Pigott.
The Levin South Neighbourhood Safety Panel and the Levin South Neighbourhood Policing Team managed to obtain the $112,000 needed to put in the pumptrack from both the Eastern and Central Community Trust and the Lotteries Board. The council will oversee the actual work being done.
The new pumptrack is suitable for mountain bikes, children's bikes, scooters, in-line skates and skateboards and is expected to be open mid-January.